At the far end of Sagain district mountain in north western Yemen sits a small village of stone houses. To leave, residents rely on rough and perilous pathways so tortuous that even the most able-bodied and unladen individuals struggle to reach the next settlement. Such isolation makes access to basic facilities like health clinics, markets, schools and water sources a real challenge. To address this issue, ACTED engaged with willing local individuals, skilled and unskilled in restoration works, to rehabilitate the road and enable easy travel for village residents and visitors.
“The only way to pass when carrying things is by using donkeys. Unfortunately, many of the donkeys slip and are killed in the fall” said Ala’a, ACTED’s Project Assistant.
Life was hard before the conflict, and it became harder after the fighting. Services are almost non-existent now; it takes us two hours to reach the only health facility which has to serve the needs of two districts. There is only one school for the village and it needs rehabilitation and teaching staff.
Zayid, like a great proportion of Yemeni men of working age, struggles to find a job, leaving his family with no income. As war pushes the prices of basic goods ever skywards, Zayid’s family are forced to reduce their meal sizes. With a diet consisting of just bread, beans and coffee in ever decreasing quantity, one of his children suffers from malnutrition.
My neighbour has two children with malnutrition. We cannot buy meat or fruit and I have debt that I cannot pay back.
Sagin district was targeted by the ACTED consortium project, Comprehensive and Integrated Response to Address Malnutrition funded by DFID. This multi-sectoral intervention is supporting the direct and indirect causes and consequences of malnutrition in communities in three governorates in Yemen. One of the activities was providing Cash for work for 66 workers in Sagyen for rehabilitating the access road for one village to facilitate easier access for all residents and visitors, and increasing their access to the available services. Zayid participated in the activity in Sa’ada as an unskilled worker.
The new road has also allowed for the movement of commodities from farms to market, which encourages people to return to their land and made access easier for other parts of Sa’ada. “It is a small activity but we did great work and achieved something with an instant impact.